Photo of Dr Tao You

Dr Tao You

Reader in Pharmacology Pharmacology & Therapeutics


Antifungal Drug Discovery

Fungal diseases affect approximately 1.2 billion individuals worldwide with at least 1.5 million deaths each year. The emergence of resistant strains made clinical treatment failures more frequent. There is an urgent to treat drug resistant Candida spp. and Candida auris. In the UK, invasive and serious fungal disease impacts between 240k – 660k patients annually, causing more deaths than some superbugs.

There are 4 major classes of antifungal drugs. Unfortunately, the utilities for these are limited by safety and efficacy issues.

My interest is to discover and develop novel small molecule based treatments with broad spectrum antifungal activity. This involves the assessment of novel targets, designing and screening small molecules, and drug development. I work with the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology (University of Exeter) and Professor Janet Quinn (Newcastle University) on this.

PhD Opportunity:
A systems biology analysis of thioredoxin reductase inhibition to support discovery of a novel antifungal treatment

Cancer Patient Stratification

Tumour heterogeneity limits the efficacy of targeted cancer therapies and compromises treatment outcomes. Most patients with advanced cancers treated with appropriately selected targeted therapies ultimately become resistant to the therapy, developing disease progression and succumbing to metastatic disease.

My interest is to develop and validate novel algorithms which combine bioinformatics (genome-scale data characterising the patients, pre-treatments) with PK/PD modelling (tumour size changes in each patient, drug kinetics) to ultimately advise and optimise patient treatment outcomes. I collaborate with Genomics England and Dr Paul Agapow (GSK) on this.

Physiologically-based Pharmacokinetic Modelling of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for the prevention of osteoporosis and cancer. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is common around the world. In North America, the prevalence of severe deficiency increased to 10% between 2001 and 2006. In Europe, vitamin D deficiency in most countries is over 20%. In the UK, hypovitaminosis D in most regions is over 30% in spring. It is particularly serious among the British elderly and it is also reported among British adolescents.

We have developed the world's first accurate PBPK model that predicts the serum pharmacokinetics profile of vitamin D3 and its active metabolite for an extremely wide range of doses of vitamin D3. This model predicts the population average behaviour. Currently, we are refining this model with the ultimate goal of accurately predicting individual serum profiles to advise clinical dose selection. Project Details
Model and data on GitHub